Argyll and Bute Council’s education service has secured £136,500 funding from the Ministry of Defence Education Support Fund. Schools in Helensburgh and Lomond with pupils who are children of Armed Service personnel will benefit from the funding.
This is the fourth successful bid made by the council since the fund was established – bringing a total of £367,820 to local schools.
The MOD Education Support Fund was launched in 2011 to help schools in the UK lessen the effects on children of moving between schools and Service communities with their parents who are serving in the regular armed forces and reserve forces.
The council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Aileen Morton, said, “This funding is very welcome as we work hard to provide every child with the best quality learning experience, regardless of how long or short a period they attend our schools.
“The council identifies projects to bid for in partnership with a consultation group which includes representatives from the Naval Personnel Family Service and parents. This year the partnership received a funding offer which matched our bid exactly, proving that we have correctly identified where this additional support is most needed.
“A key part of sustaining a thriving, diverse Argyll and Bute economy is making sure that our children and young people have the best possible start. Moving from one school to another can be a challenging time for any child, and those of serving personnel may have to face this disruption more often than most.”
The MOD set up the Education Support Fund to help reduce some of the effects of moving away from familiar surroundings and into new ones. The money allows schools to put arrangements in place to ensure children of Service families do not suffer any disadvantage by moving to or through different school systems.
Originally £3 million per year, in 2014 the fund was increased to £6 million per year and extended for a further period until 2017.
The award will fund extra support for learning teachers; an independent Parent Support Advisor who will support parents and children; additional training opportunities for staff; the establishment of more HMS Heroes groups; the organisation of a Pupil Conference; and to extend a one-to-one support service called Here for You.
In previous years, the grant awarded has provided funding for training for staff in Seasons for Growth, a loss and grief programme to support young people and adults who are affected by change, loss and grief. The award also benefited Maths Recovery, which helps children in early numeracy and primary mathematics. Other award funding provided resources for additional staff to help pupils in the classroom, and resources for the HMS Heroes group set up in John Logie Baird Primary School.